The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network is now offering online STEM awareness tool Learning Blade to all middle schools for free across the state to encourage more students to consider STEM careers.
With the support of Thinking Media, a digital learning company and developer of Learning Blade, the STEM Innovation Network will offer a STEM career awareness curriculum consisting of real-life missions to students in a bid to increase interest in STEM-related education and careers. The Learning Blade solution presents the STEM career benefits for individuals and the society as a whole.
The move is part of a wider initiative to increase STEM jobs. In the next nine years, it is estimated that Tennessee's STEM careers will increase by 16% and give 25,000 new graduates jobs, Chloe Morison reports for Nooga.
Legislation sponsor Senator Bo Watson congratulated the initiative, underlining:
"Given our state's strong efforts to lead the nation in workforce and education, supporting the STEM Network and making STEM resources available to ALL in our state makes good sense," a news release by TSIN indicates.
Learning Blade has been validated by the Battelle Education as a supplemental STEM career awareness tool and it has so far shown to effectively support STEM careers. About 7 in 10 students interacting with the technology said they learned about new STEM career opportunities, and 35% said STEM is a career path they're more likely to consider, The Chatanoogan says.
More than one in four middle school students has used Learning Blade in the first 30 days of school this year in Tennessee. Learning Blade exposes students to STEM through âmissions', real world learning experiences that focus on societal issues such as helping out an injured dolphin or solving energy needs for a new city.
Learning Blade offers a growing library of missions and lessons for students. Every game-based mission is carefully related to a tool or STEM career, highlighting how a particular STEM skill can be used in real scenarios. The STEM career awareness tool has been used in 22 states nationwide since 2013.
Teachers can use the free learning tool to gauge student performance in relation to academic standards, TSIN says in a presentation of Learning Blade on its website.
Wes Hall, director of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, emphasized that giving state students access to quality learning technologies is crucial to making the most of what STEM education has to offer:
"As a state, STEM education's greatest potential will only be met if every Tennessee student can access quality learning tools – regardless of location. That's why the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network is excited to partner with Learning Blade on this important work," Hall said.